When we were in Portland last month, we had a big family outing to the Portland Zoo. I had never gone to the zoo when I lived in Portland, and I think I was as excited as the kids were to see some animals! I was especially excited for Aaron to see tigers. He LOVES tigers, and he will growl wildly at any mention of the word. Since his only frame of reference was books and a plastic figurine, I couldn’t wait for him to meet the real thing. We lucked out and there were two beautifully regal tigers sitting quite near to the fence, and Aaron spent probably twenty minutes growling at them. The day was a success.

As we were heading up a long walkway to the park’s exit, there appeared out of nowhere a giant peacock, strutting calmly toward us. Now, peacocks are pretty much the most majestic bird I can imagine. All the colors, those feathers, and the sheer size of their tails definitely leave an impression. Mercy was totally intrigued: this bird was a far cry from the ghetto pigeons she most often sees. The thing was as big as she was (or bigger), and that too was cause for some very wide eyes.

Aaron has not been as quick of a talker as Mercy was. Like his sister, his first word was “ball” (much to his father’s chagrin–he certainly received much more coaching on the word “dada”), and his second, and probably favorite word is “duck.” Aaron loves the pictures of ducks in his books and he is passionate about the little rubber ducks that share his bath. But I was not prepared for his reaction as he spotted the giant peacock: “DUCK!” he shouted, pointing. “DUCK!”

There was something so sweet and comic about his misnomer. And so highly insulting to that poor, proud peacock.

1 comment

  1. The word “duck” is a painful word for me. With the first name Don, Walt Disney created by himself my last name. “Donald Duck” it was all through elementary school. And now my grown sons have been known to chime in. Kids love the word “duck”, and I have paid the price for it. 🙂 My therapist thinks I am overreacting. Her name is Jacqueline. What does she know of pain?

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